AL JOLSON, born Asa Yoelson in Lithuania, Russia, emigrated to New York from Liverpool on board SS Umbria as an eight year old in 1894, with his mother, brother and two sisters. His father had made the journey four years earlier and had set up home in Washington D.C. as a Jewish cantor.
Al left home as a thirteen year old and fled to New York where he sang in burlesque houses before joining various minstrel shows, touring nationwide.
As a solo artist he was accorded the title "The World's Greatest Entertainer" during a continuous run of Broadway shows from 1911 to 1925, culminating in him being the star of the first cinema talkie "The Jazz Singer," in 1927.
Continued success during the 1930s and 1940s resulted in two films of his life being made - "The Al Jolson Story" and "Jolson Sings Again" - before his death in 1950.
Al Jolson was probably one of the most successful of the many emigrants to sail from Liverpool to the New World.
This panel has been produced with the support of the International Al Jolson Society